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Trailblazing Mars: NASA's Next Giant Leap Hardcover – September 19, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Right from the start Duggins (Final Countdown) engages readers with the social context of space exploration. While the existing knowledge of Mars and the challenges of sending a human being to the red planet are the focus of the book, Duggins also provides an enjoyable, illustrated history of the space program, informing us that "The debate over the human risk and the breathtaking cost of sending astronauts to Mars... goes back even farther than the first launch of Shuttle Columbia in 1981." Readers will relive the program's tragedies, triumphs, and frustrations as Duggins details the particular challenges of life on Mars, drawing comparisons to pioneers of America's westward expansion and the scientists who spent two years in the Biosphere. From engineering fresh water to growing food in a contained, limited environment, a human trip to Mars is a complicated undertaking made more challenging by the length of the journey. With Mars exploration proposed for the 2030s, Duggins's timely and engrossing study will interest explorers and armchair astronauts alike, and remind readers of the excitement of outer space. Photos. (Sept.)
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Book Description

Fulfilling the dream as NASA prepares to send astronauts to Mars

 

"Duggins gives you the how of the process along with the facts. Who knows what trails this book will help blaze. Read on."--Bill Nye the Science Guy® and executive director of The Planetary Society

 

"From the Mariner probes of the 1960s to the rovers " and " from fanciful human travel in science fiction to realities for human exploration in the future, this book places into context the lure of the red planet and our desire to know it better."Spirit"Opportunity, "--Roger Launius, Senior Curator, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

 

"Mars may be the destination, but the book is really a study of the people who have taken us as far as we have come. Duggins has written a marvelous book, sure to inspire our imaginations and remind us that all space travel ultimately arises from human ingenuity."--Howard McCurdy, author of Space and the American Imagination

 

Travel to and from Mars has long been a staple of science fiction. And yet the hurdles--both technological and financial--have kept human exploration of the red planet from becoming a reality. Trailblazing Mars offers an inside look at the current efforts to fulfill this dream.
   

Award-winning journalist Pat Duggins examines the extreme new challenges that will be faced by astronauts on the journey there and back. They'll have to grow their own food, find their own water, and solve their own problems and emergencies without hope of rescue or re-supply. Mars travel will be more challenging and hazardous than settling the Old West--but we were not witness to the fate of the Donner Party on CNN.
   

Can the technological hurdles be cleared? Will the public accept the very real possibility of astronaut death? Should a mission be publicly or privately funded? Is the science worth the cost? These and many other questions are answered in Duggins's exciting new book.

 

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida (September 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081303518X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813035185
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,565,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Force on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Duggins uses his wealth of space knowledge and his access to current space experts to pool and synthesize the many Mars hurdles still to be jumped. I was fascinated with the mental and physical comparison to the old west pioneers. Thought provoking chapters. A great gift for any space fan.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has two phases: phase 1 is a historical review of our exploration of the red planet. Pat Duggins does an excellent job of reviewing the history of space vehicles that have explored (or attempted to explore) the red planet thus far. I enjoyed reading about the politics and engineering behind many of the Mars exploration missions. The other portion of the book looks at future Mars exploration. It looks at how we should be exploring Mars and NASAs role in the future exploration of Mars. This book is very timely considering that one of President Obama's long term goals for NASA is to send humans to Mars. What made this book so enjoyable for me was knowing that it was written by someone who has strong ties to the Space Program. Pat has more than 20 years of experience reporting on all things space and NASA so I was confident in his research and analysis. I highly recommend this book to any one who is a space exploration fan.
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Format: Hardcover
This book discusses many of the challenges of a manned Mars mission. Many people might assume what it took to accomplish Apollo is scalable to a Mars mission. The reader will be enlightened to find out that going to the moon and visiting Mars are not the same and why. I enjoyed this book as I did Pat's last book on the space shuttle. I look forward to his next book.
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Format: Hardcover
I finished This fantastic book about 2 months ago, and found Pat Duggin's book a wealth of information in a easy explainable dialogue. Trailblazing Mars is a knowledgeable and very educational read on NASAS past, present and future goals for Mars. It is well written, scientific without losing the layman. It is also detailed enough to wet the appetite of any Mars enthusiast. Hopefully with Obama still supposedly wanting a Mars inititave, (I have my doubts), and Duggins saying in the late 2030's (much too late in my opinion) A mission will/should take place, it tells us of NASA'S plans for 2037 -40 and its continued focus of Mars to be a priority (I believe 10 years from now, not another 20 years), but the book is well written and an interesting read--4/5. Phil mars Society Australia
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For those of us who are huge fans of a putative trip to Mars, this book is a decent read. It describes the challenges of long term space travel and outlines the current state of technology and limitations that face any nation going into space. For example, if we assume a trip that lasts 18 months and consists of three astronauts, then we have to assume almost 6000 meals must be brought along -- an additional 3 tons of cargo, not to mention water, one of the big limitations of space travel, and solar radiation. The book is ok, but the author is far to cautious with his exposition. That's a huge problem with NASA now, no one will go out on a limb or take a risk, and they still couldn't successfully launch an Estes rocket without it costing billions or blowing up on the launch pad. My conclusion from reading this book is that we will have to wait for the Chinese to land a man on Mars. We no longer have the courage or the chutzpah to do it.
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